HS-Gallup | Finns do not believe that we will succeed in combating climate change

The pessimists are the majority in all sections of the population, but the most optimistic are young people.

Finns are quite pessimistic about the climate promises made by states. More than 70% of the population does not trust that humanity will be able to curb global warming in accordance with the objectives set out in the Treaty of Paris.

Under the Paris Climate Agreement, the countries of the world undertook to keep global warming below 2 degrees and to do their utmost to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. So far, however, national climate policy decisions are not in line with targets. Researchers according to current estimates with current measures, the climate would warm by about 2.7 degrees.

The majority of Finns do not seem to believe that climate action will progress faster in the future. Every fifth Finn does not trust humanity at all that the goals of the Treaty of Paris will remain. Half the people are not very confident about this.

Only three percent of Finns have a strong confidence that they will succeed in combating climate change.

Pessimism characterizes virtually all population groups studied. In no group of respondents are optimists in the majority.

Somewhat surprisingly, the most optimism about combating climate change is among young people and students. This is despite the fact that young people’s climate concerns are now being reflected in, for example, climate marches, school strikes and demonstrations by Elokapina.

At least a third of respondents under the age of 30 are at least fairly confident that warming will remain within the limits set by the Paris Agreement. About 30 percent of schoolchildren and students think so.

At the same time, however, there is also a deep pessimism among young people: almost a quarter of those under thirty do not trust at all that the goals of the Paris Agreement can be maintained.

The most pessimistic of the age groups are the forties. Less than a fifth of 40-49 year olds believe that climate change can be mitigated.

The respondent’s financial situation also has a clear effect on attitudes: As many as 80% of respondents who experience scarcity in their daily lives do not trust the possibilities of combating climate change. Two-thirds of those respondents who feel comfortable getting along think so.

Proponents of the Left Alliance also stand out as a particularly pessimistic group: 95% of them say they are not at all or very confident in the fight against climate change. 80% of the Greens think so. The strongest optimism is among the supporters of the SDP, where a good third are at least fairly confident.

Schoolchildren in the Helsinki metropolitan area are on school strike and demonstrated to combat climate change in 2019. Ellen Forström and Axel Broma on the steps of the Parliament House.

In the study respondents were also asked to assess confidence in the ability and willingness of different parties to combat climate change.

By far the strongest trust is in supranational actors such as the European Union and the United Nations. Young people are particularly confident in these areas.

There is also some confidence in the activities of companies and individuals.

Finns have the least confidence in investors, although the financial sector has recently begun to talk more and more about combating climate change. About 30 percent of Finns do not trust investors’ ability and desire to combat climate change at all.

There is also weak confidence in politicians.

The role of investors, companies and politicians in combating climate change will be discussed on Wednesday at the Economic Defense Course organized by Helsingin Sanomat and Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE). The theme of the seventh course in history is responsibility. HS.fi will broadcast the event live from 4 pm.

This is how the study was done

  • The research material has been compiled in the Gallup Channel internet panel from 1 to 6. October. The total number of interviews is 1,025. The research sample was formed by a multi-stage stratified sample.

  • The margin of error of the survey results at the level of the entire data is about 3.1 percentage points in its direction.

  • The group of participants in the study represents the population aged 18–79 in mainland Finland.

  • Kantar TNS Oy has carried out a study commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

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